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Natural Surveilance

To apply CPTED principles, start by asking yourself the following questions:

  • What is the designated purpose of the space?
  • How is the space defined?
  • How well does the physical design support the intended function?

The four interrelated concepts include:

  1. Natural Surveillance ? Is the placement of physical features, activities and people in such a way as to maximize visibility.
  2. Natural Access Control
  3. Territorial Reinforcement
  4. Maintenance

Left, in commercial applications, CPTED principles recommend that business owners keep windows free of advertising signs and maintain landscaping, which allows for visibility (Natural Surveillance) into and out of retail space.

Right, the park overlook and shelter offer Natural Surveillance opportunities to many areas around the lake and the walking trails. Park visitors can see others and can be seen.

This stairwell design, pictured left, creates opportunities for Surveillance as well as creating the opportunity to be heard if assistance is needed.

Right, Natural Surveillance is not possible due to the overgrown evergreen tree. It is a good hiding place for a criminal.

Organized and Mechanical Surveillance are two other ways to provide surveillance.

Organized Surveillance ? NHW, Business Watch, etc.

Mechanical Surveillance ? CCTV
(Closed Circuit Television)

Design Strategies for Natural Surveillance:

When you consider design strategies for Natural Surveillance, keep in mind that it occurs when individuals are able see from inside a home, office, business, or other designated area and people outside are able to see inside the home, office, business, or other designated area.

Consider how and where the structure is situated on its lot, and consider the orientation of windows, entrances, parking lots, etc., to provide maximum surveillance opportunities.

Provide activity support in a designated area to increase the use of the designated area and you will then increase Natural Surveillance opportunities.

Next, Proceed to Natural Access Control.

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7721 E. Parham Rd.
Henrico, VA 23294

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(804) 501-5000
General Information
(804) 501-4800

[email protected]

Mailing Address
P. O. Box 90775
Henrico, VA 23273-0775

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